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SOTOZEN-NET > What’s Sotoshu? > Message from the Head Priest of Sotoshu in 2019

Message from the Head Priest of Sotoshu in 2019

The doctrine of the Sotoshu is that the main image of worship is Shakyamuni Buddha, and we follow the teachings of the Buddha which have been passed down by the successive generations of Ancestral Masters, and that we live a life of true faith.

The Two Founders we honor – Dogen Zenji and Keizan Zenji – taught that all of a life that is centered on zazen is the activity of the Buddha and that we must dedicate the merits of our actions to all human beings. We have to reexamine a way of life in which we seek for more things and to live such that we strive for self-discipline. I always desire for the realization of a spiritually rich society in which we have sympathy for each other and are able to share with one another.

Now, there is no end to the anxieties that our minds are tormented by. We live in a society filled with suffering such as a never-ending number of gruesome incidents and conflicts which cause us worry, the tears shed in disasters, and the troubles we experience through our relationships with other people.

Living in a world like this, Shakyamuni Buddha and the Two Founders indicated us how it is possible to live with peace of mind. Let us sit quietly in front of the Buddha, put our palms together giving our hearts to our ancestors, and harmonize our bodies and minds. Now is the time for us to fulfill the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha and the Two Founders.


I take refuge in Shakyamuni Buddha.
I take refuge in Koso Joyo Daishi Dogen Zenji.
I take refuge in Taiso Josai Daishi Keizan Zenji.

April 1, 2019

Egawa Shinzan,
Head Priest of the Sotoshu